When people begin to investigate career change, often they don’t want a new career at all. They love their career — but they also want time for creating a life outside work. As a lifetime leisure-seeker, I’ve created ten tips to help you get started on the quest for “more time in your life — and more fun.”
1. Decide where leisure ranks on your list of values. Are you giving up leisure to buy something with less value?
2. Use fifteen-minute chunks to chip away at large projects, especially those you dread completing.
3. Buy leisure time. Hiring a teenager to mow your lawn may give you an hour or more, depending on the size of your property. For a price, your pet-sitter might be persuaded to take Fluffy to the vet and Fido to the groomer.
4. Stop doing things that nobody will miss.
I once worked with a manager who stopped answering requests for reports from “senior management.” When a vice president asked, “Where is your report?” he would prepare one on the spot. Most of the time, nobody noticed!
5. Go beyond “no.” Define the scope of your “yes.”
For example: “I will be happy to help as long as I can do the work on Saturday.”
6. Conserve energy by completing tasks you dread. Procrastination can be exhausting.
7. Ignore the ghosts of, “Everybody else is participating.” Chances are everybody else is miserable — or isn’t doing it either.
8. Prioritize your energy boosters. Meditation, journal writing and exercise will increase your energy and miraculously add hours to your day.
9. Grab a large block of time each week to do exactly what you want. Two hours? A whole afternoon? An afternoon in an art museum (or an evening at a basketball game) will often unravel the knots that keep you going in circles. >
10. Call for outside help if you’re still controlled by the “should” monitor. Find a friend, counselor or coach — someone who can offer you an objective insight and clarify priorities.
Bonus tip: Remind yourself every day: Very few people on their deathbed say, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office,” or, “I should have done more dusting.” Will you be one of the few?